Friday, January 28, 2005

Decolonization Now!

A letter to the editor of the Pacific Daily News, published two years ago...just felt like I should post it. Decolonization is very much still on my mind, achokka' para i meggaina giya Guahan, esta taibali gui', ai na'ma'ase....

In response to the many letters that are going around the island, arguing against the decolonizing of Guam. I thought I’d write one of my own.

Decolonization is a cause mostly taken up by Chamorro activists because for them the injustice of colonization is very personal and real. The harshness of colonialism hits Chamorros the hardest and this is why their voices are the loudest in support of decolonization. And those who scream the loudest are usually the ones who want the least to do with the United States, and therefore their cries are for less dependence on the US and more independence for Guam. But decolonization doesn’t mean independence, and it is not just for Chamorros, it just means ending colonialism, and this everyone must support. There are truly only two sides here: you can either support the decolonization of Guam, or support the colonization of Guam. Statehood, Free Association, Independence, all of this are possible, only after decolonization. Writing letters complaining about the decolonization commission does little more then make sure we stay a colony forever.

Speaking of the letters, the puzzlement of the letter writers over the constant delay of the Chamorro only vote, really should be contrasted with the ridiculous amounts of time it took white Americans to give African-Americans and Women the right to vote. By the slow-social-responding standards of “our” founding fathers and their descendants, the few years that our plebiscite has been in limbo are nothing. If you think GovGuam is slow on the uptake, you should really re-read history and see how long the US took to give others the right to vote!
Or what about the Constitution? Answer me this: Where is the justice when you argue using a document which supposedly defends everyone’s right to vote, while not giving anyone on Guam the right to vote for president, a vote in Congress? Why does the US get to turn the constitution on and off when they make policy? Why is it wrong to deny non-Chamorros one vote, but it is right for the United States to deny everyone on Guam the right to any vote? Why is it just to discriminate based on geography, but unjust to discriminate based on ethnicity? People should really figure out their self-determination arguments before they start writing letters.

Besides America, doesn’t seem to have any problems supporting Israeli self-determination. American support for Israel is yet another incidence of conditional constitutionality. In Israel, millions of Palestinians are denied the right to vote, and sometimes the right to live. On a day to day basis America funds this regime based on race and racism, with diplomatic, military and monetary support, which far exceeds anything it has given Guam. Anyone who wants to argue against a plebiscite or a Chamorro only-vote, must first explain to me why the United States is willing to spend billions and billions of dollars each year to support Israeli self-determination, but can’t spare $150,000 for Chamorro self-determination?

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